Airline Startup Of The Week: Lübeck Air

Another new airline has emerged in Germany. Virtual airline Lübeck Air began its first flights on August 17th and is providing three services a day to two domestic destinations. It is the first airline to operate scheduled services out of the Baltic Sea airport of Lübeck since Wizz Air left in 2016.

Lübeck Air
Lübeck Air is a new German domestic airline. Photo: Lübeck Air

An airline startup in Germany

Despite being in the middle of a pandemic, there’s another new airline on the block. Lübeck Air is a brand new airline working out of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck in the north of Germany.

The airline began operations on August 17th, with a flight from Lübeck to Munich twice a day. However, this airline hasn’t had to endure the complexities and expense of purchasing aircraft for this purpose.

Lübeck Air
Its first flight to Stuttgart was met with a water cannon. Photo: Lübeck Air

In the same vein as another German startup airline, Green Airlines, this airline will be a virtual one. This means that, while it has its own branding, website, booking engine, and scheduled services, it won’t actually have an Air Operator Certificate or any aircraft of its own. Rather, it will book its flights, and then they will be operated by someone else.

Again, in the very same vein as Green Airlines, it is Danish operator Alsie Express, who will be carrying out the flights themselves. Alsie operates a small fleet of ATR 72s, one of which will be used to service Lübeck Air’s requirements.

Lübeck Air
The ATR-72 belongs to Alise Express. Photo: Lübeck Air

Not entirely new

The airline is not entirely a brand new startup. It has actually been around since 2016, but only for charter and business flights. Founded by the German physician, inventor and entrepreneur Winfried Stocker, the airline utilized a single Dassault Falcon to operate charter services out of Lübeck Airport.

However, it was announced in May last year that the airline wanted to expand into scheduled services. At the time, it was keenly ambitious, mentioning Stockholm, Frankfurt and London as potential destinations.

Lübeck Air
The ATR-72 has only 60 seats, so passengers can expect a comfortable ride. Photo: Lübeck Air

The Lübeck Air that has emerged from these ambitions is a slightly curtailed one, as it currently only plans to fly to Munich and Stuttgart. It had initially been planned to begin operations in June 2020 but put this on pause due to the uncertain situation in Germany at the time.

As restrictions eased and the lockdown was lifted, Lübeck Air was able to take delivery of the ATR-72 that is to undertake its operations on July 21st. The airline celebrated its arrival with a short sightseeing flight for airport staff over the adjacent bay of Lübeck.

Now, with its first flights under its belt, Lübeck Air is ready to take off.

A boost for Lübeck Airport

The airport at Lübeck has been somewhat quiet since Wizz Air left in 2016. In fact, Wizz was the last scheduled operator to fly from the airport, and there have been no regular services since it ceased operations there.

Lübeck Air
These are the first scheduled services to operate out of the airport in four years. Photo: Lübeck Air

Now, the airport has regular connections to two domestic German destinations, which will be a boon for locals and the airport alike. The airline plans to operate a double daily service to Munich during the week and a single daily flight to Stuttgart, as well as Munich, once on Sundays.

Since its launch, Lübeck Air has been keeping the ATR busy and sticking to the schedule. It’s possible the airline will pick up some business traffic from the local area as well as nearby Hamburg, and may well see some leisure visitors heading north looking to explore the Baltic Sea coast.

Would you fly Lübeck Air? Let us know in the comments!